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actually make it faster. this is where the obama campaign sees their opportunity. george w. bush, obviously, his prime economic policy was a set of very large tax cuts. they did not have a very positive effect on the economy, even before the recession. it was a very, very weak expansion. and so governor romney has come in and he's proposed very, very large tax cuts again. and he hasn't wanted, in order to get away from the bush part, he hasn't wanted to explain them too much. in fact, paul ryan, his running mate says, the math is just too hard. but it really isn't. and i would imagine the obama administration, or obama's going to go through tonight, you really only need to know two numbers about romney's tax plan, one is $480 billion. that's the cost of it in 2015, just to pick one year. and the other is $251 billion. that's the amount that will go to very wealthy families. now, mitt romney's promise, his tax plan won't cost a dime on the deficit. so he somehow needs to get $480 billion out of the tax code by closing breaks and loopholes, seems like the mortgage interest deduction, and also
. for instance, george h.p. bush when he was vice president was debating against geraldine fer row and said why not harvest moon. >> challengers can benefit from being on stage with an incumbent. we've seen that before. take a look at this clip. >> ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago? >> now, this race has often been compared to the carter reagan race in 1980 and the romney campaign has used that line of attack. is that the idea of what you think we might hear tonight? what kind of zinger are we going to hear? >> well, in reagan's case, he took from franklin roosevelt, who used that in the 1930s over the radio, so these things have a long lineage. i think you're right about challengers. you look at all the debates where there's been an incumbent debate. almost always, the challengers wins the debate. exceptions. gerald ford in '76 against jimmy carter, who felt very nervous debating with an incumbent president. he was little bit modest. then clinton and bob dole. >> howard dean said that president obama should not make the same mistake al gore did in 2000 against georg
gerson, "washington post" columnist and former speechwriter for george w. bush. you helped prepare president bush in 2000 and 2004 for his debates. what are the particular challenges for the two contenders as you see it today? >> we saw it in 2004 that the president had not involved in debating the whole primary season in the obama scenario. >> mitt romney has been throwing punches and receiving them in over 20 debates. i think that probably helps. if you look at the univision forum that president obama just did, he got fairly softball questions and he had a shaky performance. that should be a wake-up call for the obama team. they must be recommeally focuse this. that is an advantage for romney coming into this. he has the biggest disadvantage as well which is he has ground to make up, has to do something not just play defense, which i think the president can do more of. >> senator mccain who's been there, done that was asked about it today. >> first thing is you don't want him to say something stupid. >> right. >> but you're -- >> first do not harm. >> exactly. >> yeah. >> but sec
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